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Canada Outlaws US-Bought Car Seats Due to Low Standards

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 19, 2012

A number of car seat recalls have been issued throughout the United States because the items were not up to federal safety standards.  But a new report raises questions about how other countries perceive goods available in America.

In Canada, it’s illegal for consumers to purchase a car seat in the U.S. and then bring the item across country lines.  This is because our country has lower standards for such products than what is required in Canada.  In fact, Canadians caught using a car seat from America or some other country could face a $176 fine, a lawsuit, or possible criminal charges.

The stringent requirements in Canada are mandated by the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Cushions Safety Regulations and Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.  All car seats are required to have a National Safety Mark label affixed to the item to certify that the seat is indeed safe for use.

For their part, the Canadian Border Service Agency has said that the threat of American car seat importation is not great enough so as to require added border controls to prevent the seats’ entry into Canada.

I find this story fascinating as a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield.  We often like to believe that the products we use on a daily basis are going to be safe for use because of the regulations in place, but this shows you that other countries’ regulations might be far more stringent than our own.  As a Bakersfield personal injury attorney, I don’t know if this means that our own regulators need to be more strict on what’s for sale on American shelves, but it’s certainly something to consider.

Shock Hazard Causes Recall of 48,000 Battery Travel Chargers

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 19, 2012

An item that is supposed to keep batteries charged is being recalled due to a safety hazard.

The Edison, New Jersey-based Sakar International announced the recall of the Digital Concepts Compact Travel Charger today after it was discovered that the item can pose a shock hazard to consumers.  The casing of the item can come apart, exposing the interior portion of the product.  This occurs because the plastic that holds the item’s screws in place can break.

Thankfully, there have yet to be any reported instances of this defect occurring.  The recall covers a whopping 48,000 units, all of which were produced in China.  Customers can tell if they have the affected item by looking at the white label on the AA or AAA battery charger.  If this label has the item numbers CH-1600S or CH-1600-RS, then it is one of the recalled units.

These chargers were available across the country at Cobra Digital, Ocean State Jobbers, Lot-Less, and perhaps most notably, Radioshack.  Retailing for around $10, they were sold from January of last year until this past February.  Customers should contact Sakar about a free replacement and cease use in the meantime.

I find it quite disconcerting as a San Francisco personal injury lawyer that so many thousands of products could be recalled in one fell swoop.  Recalls of this size are troubling because so many people can be injured by the item.  I hope as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney that these chargers get returned before damage can be incurred by a consumer.

Skin care products may contain mercury, FDA warns

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 18, 2012

Several varieties of antiseptic soaps and skin lotions making claims to not only clean the skin, but remove wrinkles and freckles and lighten the skin’s complexion, as well, may be cosmetic products illegally imported into the United States, according to a consumer warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration. These products may contain high concentrations of mercury. The warning has been issued in response to multiple reports of mercury poisoning originating from at least seven states, including a Californian woman who was hospitalized for mercury poisoning after using a skin lotion of an unknown brand for a period of three years. Other members or the woman’s household who did not use the lotion had abnormally large amounts of mercury in their bodies. Young children could inhale mercury vapors emanating from the skin of a lotion or soap user in close proximity and become ill. Mercury poisoning can cause kidney and nerve damage and may impair the brain development of small children and unborn fetuses.

The Food and Drug Administration has advised that consumers avoid using skin care products that list the ingredients mercury, mercurio, mercuric, mercurous chloride, or calomel; products that have labels written in languages the user is unable to read properly; and products that have no ingredients labels at all.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Francisco, I hope no one else is harmed by this potential health hazard, and I hope the people poisoned by these products recover fully. If you have been harmed by a contaminated or defective product, please consider contacting a Bakersfield personal injury attorney.

Cancer Drugs Seized After Circumventing FDA Approval Process

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 16, 2012

United States Marshals seized a number of supposed cancer curing drugs from a plant in Bogard, Missouri.

The seizure was initiated following a request by the Food and Drug Administration, who investigated the plant in January following a complaint from a consumer.  The manufacturer in question, Notions-N-Things Distribution, was responsible for marketing drugs that purported to cure cancer.  The FDA has said, though, that these items were not approved by the FDA and may contain ingredients that might be toxic or could pose a danger to those with allergies.

1,600 containers in total were seized by the marshals.  The first item removed was chickweed healing salve, which its makers claimed could cure skin cancer, but that contains an ingredient known as comfrey which the FDA says puts the user in danger of contracting systemic toxicity.  The next item, To-Mor-Gone, was seized because of the aforementioned lack of approval and because it contains bloodroot.  Bloodroot is in fact a corrosive substance which, when applied to human skin, would create a scar that hides a tumor’s presence rather than outright cure it.

The third seized drug, R.E.P., supposedly fights sinus infections and headaches, but its label doesn’t list any ingredients whatsoever, thus not meeting FDA standards.

I know how important the FDA approval process is as a personal injury lawyer in Ventura.  Even when companies have a consumer’s best interests at heart, it’s vital that a product is proven safe before it’s distributed to a consumer.  Perhaps the makers of these items will now seek FDA approval and the items can come out with the proper labels.  As a Bakersfield personal injury attorney, all I care about is that the consumer is safe.

Some Citizens Demand New Warning Labels on Non-Intact Meat

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 13, 2012

Some government officials would like to see new warning labels on certain cuts of meat.

At issue is the process known as mechanical tenderization.  The process involves using either needles or blades to help tenderize tough cuts of certain types of meat.  It works by breaking down meat’s connective tissues and muscle fibers, and in some cases involves injecting a marinade into the meat itself.

Some safety-conscious citizens believe that this puts the meat at a greater risk of being infected with bacteria like E. coli.  They think that the same needles that can tenderize a slab of beef can also push bacteria deeper into the product.  Because of that, there’s a large number of people who want such slices of meat to have a label that describes the meat as “non-intact” and warns of a greater risk of infection and a need for a higher cooking temperature.

For their part, many persons involved in the meat industry believe that there’s simply not any proof to back such a claim that there’s an increase in bacterial contamination.  They want more analysis before something rash is done.

This comes on the heels of Wednesday’s recall of 2,000 pounds of Town & Country beef.

This is an issue I’ll be following closely as a Riverside personal injury lawyer.  I’ve long emphasized the importance of labels, as I think it’s vital that consumers know every potential safety risk associated with their food.  However, I also understand as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney that careful research must be done before conclusions are jumped to.

FDA Commissioner Wants to Double Inspectors at Savannah Port

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 10, 2012

Millions upon millions of shipments of foreign goods arrive in the United States through busy ports every year.  But do we have enough personnel available to make sure that what’s being imported into our country is actually safe for our citizens?

The Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration thinks that we could do a little better.  Following a tour of the Port of Savannah, this top official has stated that she believes more inspectors are needed to properly police the goods coming into the country.

Currently the busy port, which took in almost 3 million containers filled with cargo last year, only has four inspectors.  These persons are responsible for sifting through drugs, cosmetics, fruits, vegetables, and seafood to make sure that these goods are fit for consumption.  The Commissioner would like to see the number of inspectors double.

That’s not to say that the FDA is in this alone.  In fact, the lion’s share of cargo inspections across the country are conducted by United States Customs and Border Protection.

A member of the House of Representatives joined the Commissioner for the tour.

As a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, I applaud efforts to increase the FDA’s ability to make sure our products are safe.  Maybe just a few extra hands on deck can prevent widespread safety defects.  Such is my hope as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney.

Salmonella Contamination Forces Recall of Diamond Dog Food

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 6, 2012

Another recall to report to you today, this one concerning our four legged friends.

Diamond Pet Foods has announced a recall of a dog food product known as Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice.  The item comes in bags of either six pounds, 20 pounds, or 40 pounds.  The items will have a best by date of either January 3, 2013, or January 4, 2013.  The mixture was available in 12 states.

The company is worried that the batches being recalled may have a salmonella contamination.  Diamond has received no reports of illness as of yet in conjunction with this recall.

Pets who contract a salmonella infection can suffer from a fever, abdominal pain, and a markedly decreased appetite.  But pets aren’t the only ones in danger.  It’s possible to get an infection just from touching the food.  Side effects in humans can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Consumers are advised to seek medical attention should they become ill, or a veterinarian if their pet becomes ill.  Affected pet owners should dispose of the product at once and refrain from feeding the dog food to their pet or handling the food with their bare skin.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Francisco, I know how important product recalls can be, and this importance isn’t limited to humans.  Dog food that’s been contaminated can be incredibly harmful too, and I hope that no humans or pets get hurt as a result of this product.  As a Bakersfield personal injury attorney, I urge everyone to follow recall information of all sorts.

Water Contact Prompts Recall of Planters Cocktail Peanuts

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 6, 2012

Sometimes product recalls can become just plain nutty.

Today, Kraft Foods has announced a recall of 3,000 cases of Planters Cocktail Peanuts.  The affected items were available in 12 ounce containers and had a UPC of 2900007212.  The date on the bottom of the package should read January 9, 2014.

These items were available in retail outlets all across the country, as well as Puerto Rico.  They were not sold in Canada.

The reason for the recall has to due with the peanuts’ exposure to water.  Apparently, this water was not supposed to come into contact with food during the production process.

There’s no word on what an illness or exposure to this water would entail in terms of a negative reaction in the consumer.  Kraft Foods has said that the recall is simply a precautionary measure, as they have not received any reports of illness in conjunction with this particular product.

Consumers are being advised to immediately discontinue consumption of the peanuts.  Kraft has expressed that persons can bring them back for a complete refund at the place they were obtained.  They may also trade it in for another product.

I’m glad as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney to see a company be proactive with a safety recall.  The old adage is true:  it’s better to be safe than sorry.  This is a credo I like to spout whenever I get the chance as a personal injury lawyer in San Jose.

FDA bans fewer OJ shipments for illegal fungicide

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 6, 2012

The presence of carbendazim, a fungicide prohibited by American health regulations, has prompted the United States Food and Drug Administration to prevent just three additional shipments of imported orange juice within the past month.

In total the FDA has prevented 30 orange juice shipments from being imported into the United States since the government health regulator began its testing program at the beginning of this year, according to a recent FDA press release. That number includes two shipments from Costa Rica; 14 shipments from Brazil; 12 shipments from Canada, which utilizes Brazilian juice in its orange juice products; and one shipment apiece from Poland and the Dominican Republic.

The recent reduction in product banning would suggest that foreign exporters have begun testing orange juice product shipments for traces of carbendazim and sending these shiments to locations that allow the fungicide if they test positive for residues greater than the ten parts per billion ratio allowed by the FDA standard. The FDA began testing for the presence of carbendazim when Minute Maid and Tropicana, the two highest selling orange juice brand names in the United States, informed the agency they had detected small quantities of carbendazim in their products.

As a Fresno personal injury attorney, I am hopeful that the FDA’s new stricter testing policy will help to prevent any consumer illness that might result from the presence of an illegal fungicide in American food products. If you or someone you care about has been made ill by improperly manufactured food products, please consider contacting a Bakersfield personal injury attorney.

Two More Grocery Chains Nix So-Called Pink Slime

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 2, 2012

Two more grocery chains have joined the ranks of those companies that are refusing to stock so-called “pink slime.”

Strack & Van Til and WiseWay grocery chains are pledging to stop using the item, which is actually called lean finely textured beef, in response to numerous consumer concerns about the product.  They will become part of a list of stores that have enacted similar measures, including Meijer, Kroger, Aldi, and Costco.

The Food and Drug Administration, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture, has vouched for the safety of the product.  Its usage has been commonplace for years, but opponents think that its existence is a textbook example of unappetizing industrialization of food production.

The aforementioned chains Strack & Van Til and WiseWay have said that their decision wasn’t the result of a recall, but rather numerous customers coming into the store to complain or calling to voice their concerns.  Spokespersons for those companies have stated that the remaining inventory of the lean finely textured beef will only last for a couple more days, at which point it will be phased out entirely.  They have estimated that costs might initially be higher but that things will settle down over time.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, I can understand a consumer’s concern with a product that has a moniker like “pink slime.”  However, we’ve always prided ourselves on innocent until proven guilty in America, and as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney, I think more research will need to be done before rash conclusions are reached.

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